God calls every Christian to be Holy, for He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16). We are encouraged by the Apostle Peter to prepare our minds for action and to exercise self-control. People of God are also told to put all our hopes in the gracious salvation that will come to us when Jesus is revealed to the world. Christians should be obedient to God. In everything we do, we must be holy, just like our Holy God (1 Peter 1:16). Understanding the definition of holiness according to the Bible is essential for us to truly enjoy God and Jesus Christ. Becoming holy is considered one of the true marks of being a Christian.
The Holiness of God
Before we understand how to become holy, we first need to look at the Holiness of God. There are many passages in the Bible that talk about God’s holiness (1 Samuel 2:2; Job 6:10, and Isaiah 6:3). When the Bible speaks of God’s holiness, it talks about His absolute perfection, claiming that He is unlike any other (Hosea 11:9). The holiness of God is the essence of that “otherness” or being “separated” from others. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23), but God is not like us human beings. The nature of God does not contain any trace of sin. In Jesus Christ, there is the total and complete absence of sin (James 1:13 and Hebrews 6:18). Because of this, God is above any other creatures. God cannot be compared to anything or anyone (Psalm 40:5). The holiness of God fills His entire essence, form, being, and attributes. For example, His mercy is Holy, His love is Holy, His existence is Holy, His presence is Holy, and even His anger and wrath are Holy. No wonder the angels that the prophet Isaiah saw called God “Holy, holy, holy!” (Isaiah 6:2-3). Yes, God is not only called holy by the angels, but “Holy, holy, holy!” This repetition of the word “holy” is also known as The Trisagion Hymn. Trisagion means “thrice holy”.
Called to Be Holy
What we do know is that God has called His people to be holy (Leviticus 11 and 19). God wanted His people to be distinct from any other nations in the world. God gave Israel specific policies and regulations to govern their lives. Because God has chosen Israel over other nations, Israelites are called the Holy People of God and these Holy People live in the Holy Land. Because of Jesus Christ, all people, regardless of where they come from, can become part of this Holy Nation if they believe in Jesus Christ. All Christians are part of a holy nation, as described in 1 Peter 2:9. Christians are separated from the world and need to live out such realities in our daily lives. The Apostle has given us instructions on how to do it (1 Peter 1:16).
How to Become Holy
But how do we become holy? Holiness can only be obtained and attained if we have a strong relationship with our God. Having a good relationship with God means that we put our faith in Jesus Christ. The moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is the time we become holy. Becoming holy is impossible if we rely solely on our works or our own efforts. It is impossible for us to become holy apart from putting our faith in Jesus Christ. By recognizing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become new creatures that have been “set apart” from the world (1 Peter 2:9). Our minds and hearts are now renewed. Every Christian now has a life that is set apart from the rest of the world. There is no need for us to blend in with the world or be conformed by it.
Since we are now Holy, we need to live our lives according to God’s words. The Holy People of God delight in meditating and applying His commands. We become selfless and can easily recognize the call of God. We develop ongoing discernment and we become more sensitive to the calling of the Holy Spirit. Remind yourself of the Holiness of God and always aim for holiness. Cherish every blessing and trial that you encounter and bear in mind that from now on, every moment is sacred and holy.